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Two local organizations that help sexual assault victims plan to merge.

The Sexual Assault Center of East Tennessee and Helen Ross McNabb Center are set to join forces on January 1. Both organizations provide services to sexual assault victims.

SACET was founded in 1973 as the Knoxville Rape Crisis Center and remains one of two comprehensive, community sexual assault agencies in the state of Tennessee; serving 15 counties. The mission of the SACET is to provide excellent and compassionate services for victims and survivors of sexual assault and to empower communities through education and social change. SACET has four program areas, which include forensic nursing, advocacy, therapy and prevention education.

The Helen Ross McNabb Center provides crisis services for individuals experiencing domestic violence, substance abuse and/or psychiatric crises, and also provides emergency shelter for individuals in crisis situations.

They're hoping the merger will strengthen both those services. The Sexual Assault Center will be reorganized as a service of the Helen Ross McNabb Center.